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PARIS-Hammerson has bought a 50% interest in a major Paris development site for FFr140million ($18.63 million) from the French insurance company, MAAF Assurances.

The 118,000 sf mixed use building has frontages onto place de l’Opera, boulevard des Capucines and rue du Quatre Septembre in the deuxiemearrondissement. The existing property generates rentalincome of FFr12.6 million ($1.67 million) per annum.

The two partners propose to redevelop the buildings behind the existingfacade to create approximately 37,700 sf of high quality retail space on threelevels and some 43,000 sf of modern, high specification office accommodationon five levels. The plans also incorporate 32,300 sf of residential units and55 car parking spaces.

Hammerson will be responsible for managing the redevelopment. Itis anticipated that construction willstart in mid 2004 and complete two years later.

John Richards, Hammerson’s Chief Executive, said:’The proposed building is in a first class location both for shopping andoffices where our research shows continuing strong occupier demand.’

The acquisition follows the recent completion of Hammerson’sredevelopment of 54 boulevard Haussmann, Paris 9eme, a 138,850 sf retail and office building. Hammerson is alsocurrently involved in another joint venture to redevelop 9 place Vendome,Paris 1er. Following the latest acquisition, French assets will accountfor approximately 25% of Hammerson’s portfolio.

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